Unseeded American Sebastian Korda mastered the windy conditions in Monte Carlo to topple Miami Open champion Carlos Alcaraz 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-3 on Wednesday and advance to the last 16 of the Masters tournament.
World number 11 Alcaraz, 18, suffered his third defeat of the year in an entertaining battle with Korda that lasted just over three hours, with both players struggling for rhythm.
The 21-year-old Korda raced to a 4-2 lead in the opening set before Alcaraz fought back and twice served for the set, but was broken both times and was outplayed in the tiebreak.
Alcaraz pinched the second set on tiebreak and forced the decider, where Korda rallied from a breakdown and moved 5-3 ahead before serving for the win.
”After losing to a Spaniard in Indian Wells and serving for it, it was nice to get a victory today,” said Korda, who pushed Rafa Nadal to a third-set tiebreak at the California tournament.
”I had to just stay calm and believe in my returning. Every time you’d throw up the ball, it would move around. It was super tough to serve today but I’m super happy with the way I handled myself.
”I did get a lot of good practice on my return, but I don’t know what to say. It was a crazy match!”
Korda will face the winner of the tie between Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz and Croatian Marin Cilic, which will be played later on Wednesday.
World number three Alexander Zverev will take on Federico Delbonis while other top 10 seeds including Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime are also in action.
The tournament is without a number of big names, including Rafa Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini, while world number one Novak Djokovic crashed out in the second round on Tuesday.